Scams are becoming increasingly innovative as consumers become warier. Nonetheless, millions of consumers fall victim to scams every year. In the age of robocalls, phone scams are widespread, however, scammers also use email and SMS to target victims. The best way to protect your customers from scammers is to learn how scams work so you can develop techniques for thwarting them. Read on for more information.
The Truth About Scams
Every 1 in 10 consumers in the US will fall for a scam within a year. Scammers have become so good that at least 50% of their targets engage with them without being suspicious. You might think that this is because of the broadening of our communication channels through social media. The truth is that 58% of criminals still use the old-fashioned techniques of phone and postal scams. Spoofing is becoming rife and so if you want to protect your customers, be wary of this trend.
Ways Scammers Target Consumers
While there are various scams targeting consumers, one thing is almost always true; scams are generally conducted remotely. In most cases, scammers do not meet consumers face to face. Meaning they are contacting their victims via phone, email, or SMS.
Some ways scammers target their victims include:
- Spoofing: Most times, scammers spoof legitimate phone numbers to masquerade as a business or organization to create an air of legitimacy. When this occurs, companies can have their reputations damaged or the law can hold them liable.
- Impostor scamming: In this case, the scammer pretends to be an organization or someone you know then approaches you. It’s difficult to know if they are genuine because the scammers clone the details of who they are pretending to be so well.
Knowing the ways scammers target consumers puts you in a better position to protect your customers or help them when they fall for the scams.
How to Help Your Customers When They Fall for a Scam
You should train your agents to help mitigate the blowback from call spoofing scams. Having a plan can help protect your customers and provide them with the resources they need if they fall victim to a scam. Here are some suggestions to help your customers if they become victims of scams.
1. Report the Scam
Reporting the scam to the relevant authorities is crucial. This provides documentation and can save others from falling victim to the scam. You should encourage your clients to do this if they fall victim to scams.
2. Report Identity Theft
If the victim may have had their identity stolen, they should report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission. This can help give them a comprehensive plan to recover and stay safe in the future.
If scammers have targeted your business through spoofing, you may offer identity theft services for some time to your customers. This can help bolster your reputation with your consumers taking a proactive approach to keeping them safe.
3. Contact Credit Bureaus
Scams can ruin your creditworthiness. If your customer has had financial data stolen, tell them to contact their credit bureaus and the Social Security Administration and notify them. This can help freeze their accounts and set monitoring in place to prevent further damages.
Other institutions and platforms you should encourage your customers to report include:
- Law enforcement bodies: Scamming is a criminal activity. When customers report scamming activities to law enforcers, they will get a police report. This report can help them recoup some of their losses.
- The Federal Trade Commission: This body deals with consumer complaints. When your customers alert the FTC of scams, the commission warns other public members not to fall for the same tricks.
- The state attorney’s office: A state attorney can provide tools and tips for helping your customers after they’ve fallen for a scam.
- Businesses or agencies: Scammers often masquerade as legitimate entities. Customers should report fraudulent activities to legitimate entities if a scammer clones the identity of the entity. This enables the entity to issue warnings to the public. The warning is important for protecting your customers from falling victims to similar scams.
4. Secure Relevant Devices
While most scams revolve around gathering personal or financial information, some try to gain access to your accounts. Make sure your customers are aware of how scammers might try to harvest data. Recommend that they keep their phone and computer software up to date and change any passwords.
5. Train Your Agents with Empathy and Authenticity
Training your call center agents to handle customers who are victims of a scam is vital as well. You should train your agents to use empathy, patience, and authenticity to help in these stressful situations. Often, customers that have fallen victim to call spoofing scams might blame your company.
Your agents will need to do their best to calm the situation and provide the proper resources to the customer. This will help not only your consumers but also your business reputation.
You can teach your agents these values by:
- Encouraging them to be honest and themselves when interacting with the customers.
- Teaching them how to assess situations through the use of empathetic statements like “can you tell me more about it?” when dealing with clients.
- Making it a practice for them to reassure clients with statements like “Thank you for alerting us about the spoofing incident. We are doing everything to help.”
- Training them to serve clients with a sense of immediacy.
- Showing them how to make and follow up on commitments to clients.
Have a Backup Plan for Scams
Devising a comprehensive strategy early to deal with call spoofing scams or other scams can set your business apart. Addressing the issue early with calm and patience can save your business’s reputation from adverse public relations. Handling sensitive issues like these reinforces customer trust in your brand as well. While no business can be 100% safe from scams, have a strategy in place to mitigate the blowback when they occur to protect your customers and the business.
Protect Your Customers Today
Scams have become prevalent and sophisticated nowadays. People are finding it hard to detect scamming activities until it is too late because scammers have become tach-savvy. They use methods such as call spoofing which is can be difficult to unravel. You can reduce the chances of falling for a scam by implementing the tips we’ve discussed above. Reach out to Caller ID Reputation for professional help and to learn more on how to protect your customers.